A Republican lawmaker says his party's push last week to cut the Congressional budget and match new spending with spending cuts elsewhere was just the beginning of a push to keep cutting.
This is the beginning of a serious and sustained effort to cut government spending, Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an op-ed on Tuesday.
Cole says his party is acting on an agenda to make government smaller and reduce spending which he believes U.S. voters approved when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in November.
A vote last week to cut the budget of every congressional office and committee by 5 percent will be followed up by a 9 percent cut in the Appropriations Committee, he said.
For the Republican majority, those first steps will remain our guiding priorities for the rest of the two-year House session, he said.
A vote to repeal last year's health care reform law - anticipated to take place in the coming weeks - is not expected by the GOP to become a reality for at least two years. Democrats, who control the Senate, have vowed to block a straight repeal and President Barack Obama is likely to wield his veto power in opposition, if a repeal measure ever reaches his desk.
On January 7, after the release of the government's jobs report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, noted that private sector jobs grew for the past 12 months, and that a drop in the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent was evidence that her party's policies are helping create jobs and revitalize our economy.
Jobs creation should be the priority instead of repealing health care, which would be blowing a $230 billion hole in the deficit, she said.
On the same day, however, Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas introduced the Cut Unsustainable and Top-heavy Spending Act that would reduce federal spending by $43.8 million in fiscal year 2011 and $153 billion over five years. Brady is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee.
He cited Republicans and Democrats on the Presidents deficit commission who agreed these cuts need to be made.
Proposed reductions include a 15 percent budget cut for the White house and Congressional budgets, a three-year pay freeze for Congressional members, federal employees and civilians at the Department of Defense.
Among other cuts are reducing the federal workforce by 10,percent, ending unemployment insurance payments to those with more than $1 million in assets, slowing the growth of foreign aid by 10 percent for development and humanitarian assistance, and eliminating grants to large and medium-sized hub airports
Every federal agency and program can operate more efficiently, Brady says.